Engineered Hardwood Floors

Solid wood flooring is the most popular type of flooring among homeowners and laminate flooring is the most affordable, but the laminates are not real wood. If you want a real wood floor that will provide lasting beauty to your home, but will not cost an arm and a leg and is relatively straightforward to install, you should consider engineered wood flooring. Engineered wood floors are growing in popularity because they are attractive, made from real wood, easier to install than solid wood floors and are more affordable.

How Engineered Hardwood Flooring is Made

Engineered wood flooring is constructed by adhering multiple layers of wood together. The top layer is the layer visible when the floor is installed and is made from the species of wood you choose when you purchase your flooring. Underneath there are additional layers of wood, usually plywood, but sometimes medium density fiberboard or particleboard is used. Since less solid hardwood is required to make engineered wood flooring, the price is usually substantially less than comparable solid hardwood flooring. The visible layer is sanded, sealed and finished so your new floor is ready to be walked on as soon as it is installed.

Engineered Floor Installation

Engineered flooring does not have to be nailed down to a subfloor unlike solid wood floors. You can, however, buy thin engineered flooring that can be nailed or glued down, but most homeowners opt for the floating floors. Floating floors can be installed over any level floor, even concrete, and does not have to be nailed down. Engineered flooring will have tongues and grooves on the sides of the planks that allow them to fit together. The tab from one strip fits into the slot on another, making installation rather like working on a jigsaw puzzle.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Floors

The main advantages of an engineered floor are price and ease of installation. In terms of cost, you can expect an engineered wood floor to cost more than the laminates, which are not really wood, but appreciably less than solid hardwood flooring. With engineered flooring, a homeowner can transform a room in a weekend without having to buy or rent any special tools. You can get all the elegance and charm of solid hardwood floors without paying for them or going through any installation hassles. For every type of solid hardwood floor, there is almost certainly an engineered equivalent and this includes the more exotic hardwood floors like bamboo. The primary disadvantage of engineered wood flooring is that it cannot be sanded more than a few times due to only having a thin top layer of your favorite hardwood. This means that you may not be able to sand out dents and scratches more than once or twice.

All in all, engineered wood floors are a fine choice you can be happy with for many years to come. They are a good value for the money and if you like to do home improvement projects yourself engineered flooring is perfect.